This past Sunday I preached from Matthew 5:27-30 on the topic of lust. In the sermon I gave seven points that I feel need to be said clearly and succinctly to men regarding the topics of lust, porn, and masturbation. Below is a summary of those seven points:
1. It’s a War
You have an enemy and he is strong. The reality of temptation that exists is real. It’s a war and you need to start acting like it. If you’re a Christian man, you’ve been called up. Consider yourself drafted.
2. Everyone is Affected by War
Your sin, no matter how private, has effects. Don’t weasel your way out of this thing by saying, “Oh, well… this is private, it’s none of your business.” War is everyone’s business because war affects everyone. Your relationship with God is being affected. Your relationship with your spouse or future spouse is being affected and your relationship with your kids or future kids is being affected. When it comes to thinking about your kids, dads, your daughters need a hero – not a porn addict. Your sons need a general – not a shot-up soldier laying on the gurney next to them.
3. You Need to Know Your Enemy
Your enemy is sin. Lust is sin. Viewing pornography is sin. Masturbating is almost always sin (the only exception being potentially in the context of marriage where both partners are present and comfortable with the act). You single guys are not the exception. You married guys looking at porn are not the exception. You married guys masturbating without your wife present are not the exception. To summarize: you’re not the exception. Sin is sin. If you don’t agree with the fact that it’s sin, you need a better theology of sex and sexual sin. Bottom line on this one: you need to be convicted from Scripture that lust, porn, and masturbating are sinful acts. You need to know your enemy.
4. It’s Not Enough to Just Be “In” the War
Nobody goes to war just to be in the war – unless you’re France. No, you go to war to win the war. As the church, we should not and will not be satisfied with a bunch of dudes getting together and commiserating over their porn addictions in the name of accountability. We want to see some battles won. By God’s grace you can begin to experience some victory.
5. The Consequences of War are Real
Some of you have been playing too many video games. You think that if you get shot, no big deal, you’ve got eight more lives. If that’s you, you’re a fool. Jesus says if you don’t deal with this, if you’re not waging war against your sin, taking it seriously – if it’s habitual, or you like it, or you’re really not interested in changing – you’re headed on a path to hell. That’s not a statement of justification by works, that’s a statement of the fact that real Christians are convicted by their sin and desire to change.
6. The War Isn’t “Out There”
This is a civil war. The problem is inside your heart. Married men, don’t fall into the trap of blaming your wife for your sin in this area. If you’re the guy that thinks you wouldn’t sin in this way if your wife would just have sex with you three times a day: 1) you need some self control, and 2) this is not her fight – it’s yours. You single men, some of you are mad at God. You think it’s His fault that you sin in this way – if he’d just send you a wife or if he’d just not have these silly rules… Married and single alike need to hear this: OWN YOUR SIN.
7. We’re In This Together
You don’t want to be on the battlefield alone. You need a band of brothers around you. If you struggle with lust, porn, and/or masturbation and have never told anyone about it, I am gravely concerned for you. If you’re not plugged-in and connected with a church that is creating a community centered on the gospel of Jesus, I’m gravely concerned for you. Satan has a stronghold on you as long as you keep this in the realm of taboo and in the dark. He has a stronghold on you as long as you’re battling this alone without other men who love Jesus and his gospel. You need some other men around you to help you fight.
For more on this topic, as well as some practical help in overcoming and applying the gospel to the problem of lust, porn, and masturbation, see the sermon: Lust and the Christian Life.
This Saturday, we need all men of 2 Pillars Church to report to The 815 for a meeting from 7am-8am. This is for all men that are a part of 2 Pillars Church. Whether you’re a part of the Launch Team, or whether you’ve visited us one time on a Sunday, or whether you’ve just been hanging around in a Gospel Community. The question you need to ask yourself is: “Am I a man?” If you answer that ‘yes’ then you need to be here.